It appears that Proton is not wasting time in its efforts to expand the product line-up. Just yesterday, two fully-camouflaged test mules of the Geely Binyue (SX11), a five-seater B-segment SUV, were spotted making rounds in Malaysia. Could this mean that Proton is readying a second SUV to supplement the larger X70? If so, ever wondered what it would look like?

Well, we’ve got digital renderings of what the new Proton ‘X50’ SUV could potentially look like, courtesy of rendering whiz Theophilus Chin. Right off the bat, the only differences between the Geely Binyue and the Proton ‘X50’ renderings are the ‘Infinite Weave’ front grille and tailgate chrome garnish, the latter featuring Proton lettering instead of Geely.

Apart from that, everything you see here is exactly what you get with the Binyue. Of course, there will be additional tweaks should it be launched here, and that may materialise in the form of design and equipment changes that are better suited to our market. Sources say there are two versions of the Binyue being tested here, one being the standard, and the other is a “Sports” variant.

Performance-wise, in China, the Binyue is available with two turbocharged, direct-injection three-cylinder petrol engines. The first is a Geely and Volvo co-developed 1.5 litre unit (174 hp and 255 Nm) paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, while the second option is a less powerful 1.0 litre unit (134 hp and 205 Nm) available only with a six-speed manual transmission.

For equipment, it includes Level 2 autonomous driving features such as adaptive cruise control and parking assist, GKUI system, autonomous emergency braking, seven-inch LCD instrument panel and 10.25-inch main display, among others. Prices range from 78,800 yuan (RM47,858) to 118,800 yuan (RM71,151) there.

Meanwhile, Proton is currently in the midst of upgrading its Tanjung Malim facility to cater to the manufacturing process of the X70, as well as next-generation Proton models, which should include the Binyue-based model. As the Binyue rides on Geely’s B-segment Modular Architecture (BMA), it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to assume Proton’s RM1.2 billion investment will include support for building the platform. Whether this extends to include the CMA used by Lynk & Co models is still unknown.

To recap, Proton has also secured the use of intellectual properties (IP) and the rights to manufacture and sell three Geely models – the Boyue, Binyue and Jiaji (VF11) MPV. Exciting times, isn’t it?

GALLERY: Geely Binyue (SX11) test mule spotted in Malaysia


GALLERY: Geely Binyue (SX11)